A great music video can help a song get more airtime on MTV, or nowadays on YouTube. Sometimes, enormous amounts are invested for this purpose. Here are the ten most expensive music videos ever made:
10. Puff Daddy – Victory ($2.7 million)
Directed by Marcus Nispel, known for his work in both commercials and films, this video is a mini-action movie in itself. It features celebrity cameos such as Dennis Hopper and Danny DeVito, and reflects the luxury and excess of the late ’90s hip-hop era.
9. Limp Bizkit – Rollin’ ($3 million)
Directed by Fred Durst, the band’s frontman, this video is set on the roof of the World Trade Center in New York. The video includes guest appearances by various celebrities, including Ben Stiller, and is known for its energetic dance and stunt work.
8. Aqua – Cartoon Heroes ($3.5 million)
This video, directed by Thomas Masin, is known for its extensive underwater scenes and advanced visual effects. The video is a perfect combination of Aqua’s signature playful style and ambitious production.
7. Gwen Stefani – Make Me Like You ($4 million)
Directed by Sophie Muller, a regular collaborator with Stefani, this video was unique because it was broadcast live during the 2016 Grammy Awards. It was a groundbreaking moment in music video history, seamlessly blending live elements with planned choreography.
6. Michael Jackson – Black or White ($4 million)
Directed by John Landis, who previously worked with Jackson on “Thriller”, this video is known for its innovative use of morphing technology and a message of racial harmony. It also includes a controversial ‘panther dance’ scene that sparked much discussion.
5. Guns N’ Roses – Estranged ($4 million)
This video, part of a trilogy directed by Andy Morahan, is known for its cinematic flair and symbolic imagery. With its narrative structure and dramatic cinematography, it is more of a short film than a traditional music video.
4. Madonna – Bedtime Story ($5 million)
Directed by Mark Romanek, this video is a journey through a dreamlike world filled with surreal imagery. The video, inspired by various artists, is often praised as a masterpiece of visual art.
3. Madonna – Express Yourself ($5 million)
This video, directed by David Fincher, is known for its industrial setting and feminist themes. It is a tribute to Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and showcases Madonna’s strength and artistic vision.
2. Madonna – Die Another Day ($6.1 million)
Directed by Traktor, a Swedish director collective, this video is a mix of action and mystery, inspired by the James Bond film with which the song is associated. The video features impressive stunts and special effects.
1. Michael & Janet Jackson – Scream ($7 million)
Under the direction of Mark Romanek, this video is a futuristic and visually stunning piece of art. It is the most expensive video ever made, combining sleek choreography with groundbreaking visual effects.